SIMFEROPOL, August 19. /TASS/. Scientists have identified a marble statue dating back to the first century AD, which was unearthed near the Crimean city of Kerch, as the ancient Greek god of medicine Asclepius, Alexander Butyagin, a State Hermitage official, told TASS.
Butyagin, who leads the Myrmekion expedition in Crimea, first informed TASS of the statue’s discovery in August 2018, assuming that it portrayed a deity or a politician.
"This year, we figured out that it is a statue of the Greek god of medicine Asclepius, known as Aesculapius in Roman mythology. Until recently, we did not know whom the statue depicts but now we are sure that it is Asclepius. The type of statue and its style point to that fact," the Hermitage official specified.
The headless and armless statue, which is 1.15-meter high, has been handed over to the Eastern Crimean Historical and Cultural Museum-Preserve in Kerch.
Myrmekion, an ancient city founded by the Ancient Greeks on the Kerch Strait coast in the mid-sixth century BC, was part of the Bosporan Kingdom. It is now a federal heritage site. The Hermitage Museum’s Myrmekion archeological expedition has been conducting excavations on the site since 1999.